United States District Court, N.D. New York
CHARLES BROOKS C262223 Plaintiff, pro se.
ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, New York State Attorney General,
Attorney for Defendants.
TIMOTHY P. MULVEY, ESQ., Ass't Attorney General.
DECISION AND ORDER
K. SANNES U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE.
Charles Brooks commenced this action pro se and in forma
pauperis pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 ("Section
1983") alleging violations of his constitutional rights.
Dkt. No. 1 ("Compl."). Plaintiff is involuntarily
civilly confined at the Central New York Psychiatric Center
("CNYPC") in the Sex Offender Treatment Program
("SOTP") under the custody of the New York State
Office of Mental Health pursuant to Article 10 of the New
York State Mental Hygiene Law. Compl. at 21. Plaintiff's
second amended complaint is the operative pleading. Dkt. No.
33. The following claims set forth in the second amended
complaint survived the Court's initial review: (1) the
Fourteenth Amendment due process claims against defendants
Sawyer, Maxymillian, Gonzalez, Bahl, Forshe, Solavieva,
Golovko, Debroize, Bill, Cebula, Dawes, Grey, Velte, and
Tedesco regarding plaintiff's placement in the MOD Unit
in 2008; (2) the Fourteenth Amendment claims that defendants
Bosco, Nowicki, Sawyer, Maxymillian, Gonzalez, Bahl, Forshe,
Solavieva, Golovko, Debroize, Bill, Cebula, Dawes, Grey,
Velte, and Tedesco denied plaintiff adequate mental health
care; (3) the First Amendment denial of access to the courts
claims against defendants Hogan, Miraglia, Bosco, and
Nowicki; and (4) the Fourteenth Amendment conditions of
confinement claims against defendants Sawyer, Maxymillian,
Gonzalez, Bahl, Forshe, Solavieva, Golovko, Debroize, Bill,
Cebula, Dawes, Grey, Velte, and Tedesco. See Dkt.
Nos. 34, 71.
before the Court is plaintiff's motion requesting
permanent injunctive relief in the form of his
"immediate release" from civil confinement. Dkt.
No. 88 at 1. Plaintiff argues that he is entitled to
immediate release because of (1) the "unavailability of
treatment, or individualized meaningful treatment at
SOTP" and (2) the "unavailability of [a]
psychiatrist and/or psychologist possessing experience in the
field of Exhibitionism." Dkt. No. 88-1 at 1. In the
alternative, plaintiff requests a hearing on his motion for a
permanent injunction. Dkt. No. 88 at 1.
motion for permanent injunctive relief is
unopposed. Plaintiff filed a supplemental submission
in support of his request for permanent injunctive relief.
Dkt. No. 102.
obtain a permanent injunction, a plaintiff must succeed on
the merits and 'show the absence of an adequate remedy at
law and irreparable harm if the relief is not
granted.'" Roach v. Morse, 440 F.3d 53, 56
(2d Cir. 2006) (quoting N.Y. State Nat'l Org. for
Women v. Terry, 886 F.2d 1339, 1362 (2d Cir. 1989))
(other citation omitted). See also N.Y. Civil Liberties
Union v. N.Y. City Transit Auth., 684 F.3d 286, 294 (2d
Cir. 2012) (noting that to obtain a permanent injunction,
"the moving party must demonstrate actual success on the
merits") (citation and internal quotation marks
commenced this action pursuant to Section 1983, which
establishes a cause of action for "the deprivation of
any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the
Constitution and laws" of the United States. 42 U.S.C.
§ 1983. "Section 1983 itself creates no substantive
rights, [but] . . . only a procedure for redress for the
deprivation of rights established elsewhere." Sykes
v. James, 13 F.3d 515, 519 (2d Cir. 1993) (citation
plaintiff seeks an order of this Court directing his
immediate release from civil commitment. Dkt. No. 88-1 at 1.
However, plaintiff was previously advised that he may seek
release only in a petition for a writ of habeas corpus; he
may not seek such relief in a Section 1983 suit. See
Dkt. No. 9 at 21 (citing Duncan v. Walker, 533 U.S.
167, 176 (2001) (noting that federal habeas corpus review is
used to challenge the legality of a state court order of
civil commitment); Buthy v. Comm'r of Office of
Mental Health of N.Y.S., 818 F.2d 1046, 1051 (2d Cir.
1987) (petitioning for a writ of habeas corpus, after fully
exhausting state court remedies, is the appropriate method
for an individual to challenge the fact or duration of his
involuntary civil commitment in a forensic unit of a
psychiatric hospital) (citing, inter alia, Souder v.
McGuire, 516 F.2d 820, 823 (3d Cir. 1975) ("There
is no question about the appropriateness of habeas corpus as
a method of challenging involuntary commitment to a mental
institution."); O'Beirne v. Overholser, 287
F.2d 133, 136 (D.C. Cir. 1960) ("Habeas corpus is the
traditional means of seeking release from illegal
confinement. It is the normal means in this jurisdiction of
testing the legality of detention in a mental hospital,
whether based on civil or criminal proceedings."))).
Thus, plaintiff has an adequate remedy at law - in the form
of a habeas petition - to seek his release. Accordingly,
plaintiff's request for immediate release from civil
confinement could be denied on this basis alone. See
Roach, 440 F.3d at 56 (finding that to obtain permanent
injunctive relief, a plaintiff must demonstrate the
"absence of an adequate remedy at law").
liberally, plaintiff also argues that since the Court allowed
some of his claims to survive the initial screening stage
under 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), he has therefore
demonstrated success on the merits of those claims. Dkt. No.
88-1 at 2-4. While it is true that the Court allowed
some of plaintiff's claims to proceed to service and
discovery, the Court clearly advised plaintiff that it
"expresse[d] no opinion as to whether the[ ] claims can
withstand a properly filed motion to dismiss or for summary
judgment." Dkt. No. 34 at 16-17. Therefore, plaintiff
has not demonstrated success on the merits of his claims
merely because they survived initial review.
in his supplemental submission, plaintiff asserts that he is
automatically entitled to the requested relief because his
motion for permanent injunctive relief is unopposed. Dkt. No.
102 at 2-3. In support of this assertion, plaintiff points to
Rule 7.1(b)(3) of the Local Rules of Practice ...